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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 1, 2023 6:30pm-7:01pm PST

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tonight, the historic vote. new york republican congressman george santos now just the sixth lawmaker ever expelled from the house. george santos rushing down the capitol steps and into a car before the final vote was gaveled. his words as he left, quote, to hell with this place the locks on santos' office changed his name removed more than 100 fellow republicans joining nearly every democrat to oust the indicted congressman after an ethics report found he stole from his campaign to pay for things like botox, only fans, and luxury goods. so, what happens now with his seat? also tonight, the fighting resuming in gaza israel and hamas blaming each other for the collapse of the cease-fire that allowed more than 100 hostages to go free. is there hope for restoring it and a new report, did israel know about hamas' plans more than a year ago remembering sandra day o'connor, the
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first woman ever on the supreme court. the trail she blazed and the tributes tonight. the storms on both coasts heavy rain and wind this weekend we're tracking it all. the outbreak of child pneumonia in ohio is it linked to china? we asked the director of the cdc and jennifer garner joining us in small town america where a mission is under way to help kids read to succeed. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening, and welcome from washington where in a rare move, congress ejected one of its own today, the third time that's happened since the civil war. the house voting to expel george santos, the new york republican whose short time in congress has been buffeted by a series of legal and ethical controversies and accusations. a fellow house member now saying he too was a victim of santos' alleged financial misdeeds the house on a 311-114
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vote including over 100 republicans sending santos packing. his name unceremoniously removed from the door of his former congressional office behind that door literally now stands an open seat in a congress where republicans control with an already razor thin margin. ryan nobles is here on capitol hill tonight with more on today's drama. >> reporter: tonight, the george santos saga is over. within hours of his house colleagues voting to make him just the sixth member in history expelled from office, crews were changing the locks on his washington office doors. the normally vocal republican, who rarely shied away from the cameras, brushed by them as he left the capitol for the last time. >> congressman, what do you say to your constituents >> excuse me. you guys got to get out of my way. >> reporter: 311 members voted to remove santos, 105 of them republicans, going against party leadership house speaker mike johnson and the other top three members of
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the gop conference voted to let him stay. there were concerns about their narrow majority and the precedent now set. >> i didn't make the vote to expel, and this starts us on a bad path in my opinion. >> reporter: but even right before the vote, new allegations against santos were coming in. gop congressman max miller wrote a letter to his colleagues accusing santos of illegally charging thousands of dollars to his and his mother's credit cards. miller writing, we have spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees in the resulting follow-up. it adds to the list of accusations against santos including a house ethics report that said he used campaign funds to buy designer clothes, casino trips, and on the website, only fans prior to his election to congress, a disabled veteran accused santos of stealing money from a donor drive to raise money for his sick service dog. a federal indictment claimed he defrauded donors and laundered campaign money santos has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but the
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constant controversy surrounding him proved to be too much for most members >> i mean, he stole from his donors. he lied about his whole biography, and there has to be accountability we got to have a higher standard. >> reporter: back in santos' district on long island, most of his now former constituents are ready to move on >> i think he should have been gone a long time ago >> he got what he deserved he got what he asked for. you know, it's as simple as that he tried to push the envelope, and he went right out the window >> reporter: new york's governor posting today that within ten days, she'll set the date of the special election to replace santos. >> and, ryan, how will this impact the balance of power in the house? >> reporter: well, lester, with santos' expulsion, republicans only have a three-seat majority, and there's a possibility that two more republicans could leave their seats in the future including the former house speaker, kevin mccarthy if that happens, they
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would only have a one-vote margin. lester. >> ryan nobles here on capitol hill, thanks. in the middle east the cease-fire has abruptly ended in gaza with deadly fighting resuming chief foreign correspondent richard engel has late details. >> reporter: the war in gaza is back in full force with hamas firing rockets tonight into israel, and the israeli military carrying out at least 200 strikes, many in southern gaza where the hamas-run health ministry says around 200 palestinians were killed and hundreds wounded including ibrahim who cries for his dad as he's carried to an ambulance. israel says hamas brought this down upon gaza by breaking a seven-day truce when it refused to release more hostages and fired rockets. the u.s. also blaming hamas for the end of the cease-fire >> it came to an end because of hamas hamas reneged on commitments it made, in fact, even before
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the pause came to an end, it committe an atrocious attack in >> reporter: hamas offered to release older male hostages instead of the women israel was asking for, but israel seems to be in no mood to accept edicts from hamas. in tel aviv, the relatives and supporters of israeli hostages gathered to light candles, weep, sing, and pray on wednesday, hamas released yarden in the sweatshirt reunited with her husband and 3-year-old daughter, but her sister-in-law carmel remains a hostage. carmel's brother today told us he'd hoped she would be out soon too as hamas rockets were intercepted above us >> this reunion making everyone in israel and i think around the world to feel the hope, feel the strength i think it's the interception, but i'm not sure
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>> i think right there. >> yeah, but the bombing is interception, so -- >> no, there's the iron dome. >> the iron dome, that's the interception >> reporter: but could hamas' october 7th massacre that started this war have been prevented? "the new york times" says, it reviewed a 40-page document outlining hamas' attack plan that israel obtained a year ago detailing how hamas would use a barrage of rockets, drones, and gunmen in paragliders, but israeli officials dismissed it as aspirational nbc news has not seen nor independently confirmed the document. an idf spokesperson telling us, after the war, the idf will conduct an in-depth investigation. >> richard, let me ask, where do things stand on negotiations over hostages? is anyone talking tonight? >> reporter: no, they're not looking good like the cease-fire has collapsed, the negotiations, which had been producing results, are also
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paused according to a negotiator directly involved in the talks. that doesn't mean they couldn't resume, but for now they're on hold lester >> richard engel tonight, thank you with fighting renewed and so many hostages still being held, it means more anguish for the families of the captives including some americans here's david noriega. >> reporter: tonight, the renewed sound of missiles and mortars in gaza dashing yair moses' hopes for an imminent reunion with his father, gadi >> how are you feeling now that the war has resumed? >> i'm very worried. very worried >> reporter: his father 1 of nearly 140 hostages still held in gaza taken by hamas terrorists during the october 7th attack his mother, margalit, was also kidnapped, but she was released on day one of the cease-fire we first met yair soon after. how does it feel to have on the one hand your mother back with you, but on the other, your father still in gaza
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>> so, for the first two days, we allowed ourselves to be happy, and one more day, and she could have been dead. >> reporter: his is one of many israeli families split between joy and despair. mothers and kids released, fathers and sons left behind, and the white house believes as many as eight americans are still held hostage one of them is 19-year-old itay chen, a dual american israeli citizen who was serving in the idf when he was captured by hamas on october 7th. his father ruby's message to the israeli government. >> there will not be a victory picture without having all the hostages come out. >> reporter: yair moses having caught a glimpse of hope trying to hold on through the anguish. >> i don't know if he's alive i believe yes, i hope yes, but i don't know the truth. >> reporter: yair told us that his mother is doing physically okay, but she doesn't want to hear any of the details about the horrors that hamas perpetrated on her kibbutz on october 7th including so many of her friends and loved
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ones who were killed lester >> david noriega, thank you. now, remembering an american trailblazer. sandra day o'connor, the first woman to become a u.s. supreme court justice. laura jarrett on the tributes pouring in tonight. >> reporter: remembered tonight as a pioneer, tributes for u.s. supreme court justice sandra day o'connor including chief justice john roberts saying, she blazed a historic trail as our nation's first female justice she met that challenge with undaunted determination, indisputable ability, and engaging candor. >> it's thrilling in a way to be the first to do something, the first woman to ever serve on the court, but it's dreadful if you're the last. >> reporter: the daughter of a cattle rancher, o'connor grew up in arizona, a republican lawmaker and a judge before being nominated to the supreme court in 1981 after president reagan's campaign pledge to nominate a
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woman. >> i was concerned about whether i could do the job well enough to deserve saying yes. [ applause ] >> reporter: confirmed unanimously by the senate, she served on the court for 24 years holding a pivotal swing vote >> it really was the o'connor court for more than a decade, because she often cast the deciding vote on the most contentious cases. >> reporter: sometimes she sided with conservatives as she did in 2000 settling the presidential election in bush v. gore other times she was with the liberals writing the landmark decision on using race in college admissions, one that was laregly gutted just last term. >> the very heart of this country is equality of opportunity and respect for all individuals. >> reporter: as a moderate, she searched for consensus on a bitterly divided court, particularly on abortion rights, joining a decision reaffirming roe v. wade in 1992 while later upholding state restrictions on abortion
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the first woman on the court also the first mother she had three boys with her husband john whom she left the court to care for in 2006 when he was diagnosed with alzheimer's. later she too was diagnosed with the disease. she also battled cancer reflecting at one point on what that fight taught her. >> i think i learned from it to appreciate and treasure each day, because you don't know how many you'll be given, so make those that you have count. >> reporter: sandra day o'connor was 93. laura jarrett, nbc news in 60 seconds, the weekend storms hitting both the east and west coasts and rising cases of respiratory viruses. what to watch for ahead of the holiday season
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we're tracking storms impacting both sides of the country
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in the east, a system spreading rain from the midwest all the way into the northeast tonight, and on the west coast, heavy snowfall in oregon as an atmospheric river produces storms that will pound the pacific northwest for the next several days. and a health alert on the surge in the u.s. of respiratory illness in children. in ohio one county reporting an outbreak that's alarming of pediatric pneumonia. is it connected to a mystery illness in china? anne thompson asked the cdc director >> reporter: chiney stone says the change in her 3-month-old son braden happened overnight. >> we woke up, and he couldn't breathe he couldn't catch his breath. >> reporter: diagnosed with rsv days before, he had to be rushed to the hospital where braden spent four days on oxygen. >> it definitely is a terrifying, you know, situation, and we tried to keep it together as much as we could. >> reporter: braden now recovering is part of a national uptick in respiratory viruses reported by the cdc. dr. john kelly treats braden
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>> is the amount of rsv you're seeing, is this unusual in any way? >> i don't think so. it's the typical uptick for the fall. >> reporter: the percentage of positive rsv tests rising, flu following fast. the levels of covid are lower. the cdc says it still kills 1,000 people a week and puts 15,000 in the hospital. in warren county, ohio, outside cincinnati, they are seeing increases in pediatric pneumonia. 148 cases since august are you seeing any connection between what is going on in ohio and the outbreak in china >> we are not seeing any connection between what is happening in ohio or what's happening in china >> reporter: dr. cohen adds, there is no new or novel bacteria or virus. >> while we're seeing more viruses because it's the winter, we're not seeing anything out of the ordinary of what we would expect >> reporter: to stay healthy, the old rules still apply. >> vaccination is very important to help prevent diseases like
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this. >> reporter: other advice, practice good hand washing, and keep your kids home if they're sick, so the holidays are happy and healthy. anne thompson, nbc news and next here tonight, our revealing interview with one of the palestinian college students shot in vermont
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tonight, two of those three palestinian college students shot last week in burlington, vermont, remain
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hospitalized in fair condition. the third, who is an american citizen, has been released. he's sharing his story with our zinhle essamuah >> did you ever think anything like this could happen on american soil? >> i certainly hoped not. i have heard of other palestinians being beat up, stabbed, or humiliated, but i certainly didn't expect to be shot at. >> reporter: but that's what happened saturday when kinnan abdalhamid went for a walk with two childhood friends, also of palestinian descent. two of the three wore traditional arab scarves. kinnan says they were talking about homework in english and arabic when they saw the alleged gunman. >> as soon as he saw us, he ran down the steps, pulled out a pistol, and started shooting i jumped the fence, and i believe that's when he shot me, and i hid behind the backyard of a random house, and i was shaking, and i didn't believe both my friends were dead.
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>> reporter: tonight both his friends are still in the hospital. >> how do you all discuss the potential that it may have made you a target, either speaking in arabic or wearing the scarf? >> oh, yeah, of course. i mean, when we all met in the hospital, we were like, why do you think it happened? oh, yeah, probably because we were speaking arabic. >> what is your message to americans tonight? >> it's important to see palestinians as a diverse population like any other race or ethnicity. we're just a people like any other >> reporter: zinhle essamuah, nbc news >> and you can see more on "fear and faith: palestinians in america" at 9:00 p.m. eastern on nbc news now. up next here tonight, bringing a love for reading to parts of rural america. save the children ambassador jennifer garner's mission next.
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finally, in rural mississippi, a determined effort to break the cycle of illiteracy cynthia mcfadden and jennifer garner traveled there to meet the people behind it >> reporter: quitman county, mississippi, was the poorest county in the poorest state when dr. martin luther king visited here in 1968 residents say he cried after seeing so many shoeless children. since then not much has changed for the better half of the young adults here are unemployed, part of a legacy of slavery and racism >> this is kind street. >> reporter: now a
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pastor, michael jossell was 14 when dr. king visited >> well, it's not quite the poorest county anymore, but it's right there at the bottom. >> yeah, we still there. >> reporter: so, 55 years later, nbc news is taking a look at one factor in persistent poverty, illiteracy >> could your parents read >> my mother, she went to eighth grade and had to quit school my father went to about third grade. he knew how to write his name, but being illiterate in reading he couldn't. >> reporter: even today in quitman county, 48% of adults struggle to read at even a basic level, all reasons the pastor's wife, dr. evelyn jossell, launched a new preschool program, the early learning academy. >> we're trying to show when you intervene early enough, you're equipping people to be better readers and ultimately better leaders. >> you can hug me.
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>> reporter: the idea is simple, a souped-up version of headstart with high-quality teachers, small classroom size, and a curriculum highly successful in getting kids ready to read >> what does "b" say >> reporter: and it's paid for by save the children >> the parents that we work with, they wake up in survival mode. how can i put food on the table? how can i keep my lights on, so education is not at the top of their things to do list, but does that make them a bad parent no. >> may i play too? >> reporter: jennifer garner, a save the children ambassador for the past 15 years, came by to take a look >> good job. good job. >> we don't connect so many of the problems of teenagers and young adults are having with the fact that somebody failed them at the beginning. >> yep, and you know who is failing them? we are as a society. the government should be funding programs like early learning academy, not just here in mississippi, but all over the country >> whatever you do, do not give me a hug. >> reporter: garner
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herself grew up in west virginia and is a vocal advocate for children who live in rural america. >> we have people who see no hope for the future, and that splashes backwards on to their kids. >> reporter: one goal, giving kids the skills they'll need to succeed in kindergarten >> if you have not developed those skills and you get to kindergarten, it might be really frustrating for you. >> reporter: and over time that can lead kids to give up on reading and handcuff them in poverty. >> if you're educated, you can stand. if you're illiterate, you walk with your head down. when you see those little 3-year-olds over there, the brightness on their face can tell you that these kids can go anywhere with a helping hand >> reporter: the pastor says these kids give him hope that quitman county is getting ready to rise. cynthia mcfadden, nbc news, quitman county, mississippi.
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and that's "nightly news. thank you for watching i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
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i'm raj mathai. next on "nbc bay area news tonight," a woman in the east bay reunited with a family member who was held hostage by hamas. but the nightmare isn't over. >> we are getting very, very worried, and it's our real concern that time is up. the time to bring them home is now. >> another family member still in captivity. also, blue shield of california hit by hackers. could your personal information be at risk? what to know about this ck

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